As Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year, the shops will be hectic to say the least in the run up to Christmas Day, but by planning ahead and doing as much as you can beforehand, you’ll have more time to make Christmas 2016 the best Christmas ever…

This weekend

  • Traditionally, Christmas cake is made about a month in advance. Once your cake is cooked and cooled, wrap it in a double layer of greaseproof paper, then a double layer of foil and keep it in an airtight container until it’s needed.
  • Buy some of your Christmas Day vegetables now; parsnips and potatoes can be peeled, chopped into chunks and cooked for six minutes (to prevent blackening) then frozen in plastic bags until they’re needed for roasting.
  • Now is the time to buy crackers, crisps, nachos, olives, pickled onions, cranberry sauce, along with any other family favourite snacks and condiments.


10/11 December

  • If you’re making your own mince pies, this is the week to get baking. Aspire’s top tip is to store them partly cooked, so they can be quickly finished off and served warm whenever you require them.
  • Stock up on baking ingredients, like flour and chocolate chips, to ensure you have enough to get the kids involved with making cookies or shortbread for Santa. Not only will this be a great activity that the kids will enjoy, it’s also a cheap and easy way to keep them entertained.


17/18 December

  • Now is the time to stock up on those things that you may run out of over the festive period, like bread and milk. Make sure milk is frozen before its use by date and allow it to defrost in the fridge for 24 hours before you need it.
  • This is the time when emotions are at their highest and tethers are reaching their end, but everyone will need to pick up a few bits and bobs, so just be patient. By allowing yourself a whole afternoon to pick up your fresh food items, you’ll stay calm, collected and stress-free, whilst everyone else falls apart around you!
  • A trip to your local market is essential this weekend to pick up any fruit and vegetables you may want over Christmas. Satsuma’s and brussel sprouts are festive must haves!
  • If you haven’t done so already, get your Christmas essentials, like the turkey, this weekend before the panic really sets in. Don’t forget the Christmas Pud!


Christmas Eve: 24 December

  • By preparing all your vegetables the day before, you’ll save yourself precious time on Christmas Day, so get chopping, dicing and peeling.
  • Sit back, relax and enjoy yourself as Christmas will soon be gone, and forgotten, for another year!